The year 2008 has been one of the most challenging for both Afghanistan as well as India's presence here. For one, the July 7 bombing of the Indian embassy killed five of its staff, including two diplomats, shocking the international community as well as the Afghans. Worse, the security situation continues to deteriorate here amidst talk of negotiating with the Taliban, rearming the tribal militia and increasing the presence of international troops. Simultaneously, pressure has been mounted on Pakistan to deal with the sanctuaries of terrorism on its soil.
The Indian embassy or its staff didn't celebrate Diwali to commiserate with their colleagues who lost their lives. On that day, however, Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Jayant Prasad talked to Aunohita Mojumdar. Excerpts: